public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:33 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Dancing versus family life for the young dancer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2001 11:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 8
Location: Nevada City, CA, USA
I am seeking information and advice to help with some decisions my husband and I are facing with my daughter's dancing. She is 10 years old and has been studying ballet intensively for about 3 years. We live in a rural area of Northern California and do not have much in the way of local ballet training for the advanced student. She is pushing us to let her audition with the San Francisco Ballet School's regular (not summer) program. We have been told that she is quite talented and that she stands a good chance of getting in, but obviously, I have no idea whether this is in fact true. Her argument, which she presents quite forcefully, is that if she does not study with the SF Ballet School, she will not be offered principal roles with top ballet companies. At this time, her aim is high--and she expresses a lack of contentment with being a member of the corps for her dancing career. Again, I don't know whether the picture she paints is an accurate one. (Where does she get this information?) The problem with allowing her to audition is that I'm afraid she may get accepted, which would force the issue of relocation upon us. We left the Bay Area fifteen years ago and are not eager to return, given the high cost of living, abandoning our jobs, etc. Yet I want to be as supportive as I can of her dedication and passion for ballet. She takes seven hours of classes per week, works very hard, and is extremely committed. I discussed with her the possibility of auditioning for the SFBS summer program when she is old enough (I think 13 years) and then taking the issue up again at that time. However, she feels strongly that this will be too late, and will decrease her chances of acceptance because the summer program is extremely competitive. Not being in the dancing world, I have many concerns about her single-minded focus and determination for something that seems so elusive. But I respect her love of ballet and the self-discipline she has shown in her pursuit of this art. I wonder whether I would seriously regret not allowing her to pursue this dream to the level she aspires? Any insights would be much appreciated.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dancing versus family life for the young dancer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2001 2:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
First let me welcome you, Rachel's Mom, to our board. I am sure you will get several responses to your serious and well thought out questions. <P>I would say that the main thrust for this kind of career has to come from the child - and in your case it certainly sounds like it does!! The bottom line, however, is that no one can make the decision for you as to what your family should do. As adults you and your husband have to balance the problems and expenses of relocation and change of employment. So that is not something that can be decided here or anywhere, for that matter, except around your own ******* table. <P>As to your daughter's concerns about wanting and feeling that she needs a first class ballet school in order to have a chance at being a principal dancer, let me say the following.<P> There is no doubt that first class training will give her the best chance - that is a given, assuming she has the talent and dedication. Have you had her prospects evaluated by an unbiased professional in the field? And, then a second opinion? I think that would be my first step as a parent. Is it at all possible to have someone from SFB look at her? Or even from another ballet company/school who would have a disinterested opinon to offer? It would be worth a trip to such a place, before making such a big change in your lives. Maybe the school of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, even though you have no intention of enrolling her there. Just for an opinion.<P>Unfortunately, in the real world even the best training does not guarantee the rank of principal dancer. While her goal is admirable, there is a certain reality that may have to be faced. Almost no one gets hired as a principal without serving sometime as a member of the corp de ballet or soloist, first. The work at those stages is also beneficial to the dancer.<P>She is very young, and yet one knows that Mozart was also young. Whatever you decide to do, always keep your inner ear listening to any changes in her dedication so that she doesn't feel she has to proceed because of the committment she asked of you. Children often have a sense of loyalty and even guilt, wanting to fulfill the dreams of the parent, when their own dreams have changed direction. I am sure this is not the case at the present time - but it could happen in the future.<P>I am thinking of Tai Babilonia, the ice skater, whose family also made a huge sacrifice so she could train and compete, and when her own interest flagged, she went on, feeling that she had to fulfill the hopes and dreams of her parents and because she felt guilty for all the sacrifices they had made for her. Each was trying to please the other and in the end no one was happy.<P>Being a parent is never easy, so many decisions, life altering decisions. I hope you will let us know what happens - or even give us more information so that further suggestions can be given. There are a lot of very experienced people at this board, who would love to help. <P>Again, welcome. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited January 01, 2001).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dancing versus family life for the young dancer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2001 4:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 8
Location: Nevada City, CA, USA
Thanks, Basheva for your helpful and thorough answers to my questions. I would like to have an independent opinion from a professional about Rachel's prospects. Does anyone know from experience how I would best approach someone with this type of inquiry? She attended Tulsa Ballet's summer program with the Italian teacher of Daniela Buson, prima ballerina with the Tulsa Ballet. He said she should be training with the SF Ballet School. Still, I don't know whether he knows what SFBS is currently looking for, what their level of competitiveness is, etc. So another opinion would be a good idea. <BR>P.S. Rachel knows she would have to be a member of the corp de ballet first, but hopes to go on to be a soloist or principal dancer.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dancing versus family life for the young dancer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2001 5:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Ok - let's work this out from the beginning.<P>No matter what you do and who you ask, you will never know if she would be accepted at SFB until she auditions there and is or is not accepted.<P>So, perhaps you need to make your decision ahead of time - if she is accepted what do you do? If you are not able to make this move - why even go to an audition?<P>It would be a heartbreak for her to be accepted and then have her family not be able to accomodate her dreams. If she is not accepted your decision is moot.<P>Now the problem may come up - what if she is not accepted but still has talent and still wants to study. After all many dancers have been refused by one school and accepted by another - and been very successful. Then you would have to decide where else to go.<P>If this were my child (and I do have a child) I would have a plan B, in case she is not accepted. Rejection is not final. Rejection happens in life and one forges ahead with another plan.<P><BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dancing versus family life for the young dancer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2001 5:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
hi rachel's mom! we are flattered that you feel we can help! and, you know - maybe we CAN! Image<P>my first response (after basheva's, above) would be that it SOUNDS LIKE the child is really pusing un-necessarily/too much too soon. <P>i should add that i am in australia, where there are different age-related training expectations, than in america (and i have experience in england as well, including at the royal ballet school's junior school, white lodge). so, i am not all that familiar with YOUR environment, but i am still confident my advice would be sound in this regard. YOU just need to factor in, what you know about your own 'local' conditions.<P>i probably would have been the same at your daughter's age - but did not have the options she might have.<P>perhaps the best thing i can say, is that, regardless of the details, your daughter seems to be imposing a guilt trip on you (inadvertently, of course!) which is completely un-necessary, and which you should take a big step back from! there is rarely ever ONLY 1 CHANCE, when you are ten years old! <P>there is plenty of time, and plenty of opportunity for her dreams to be realised, via a multitude of pathways, so don't feel pressured, as you think through these points we are offering up.<P>best wishes, grace Image<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited January 01, 2001).]

_________________
<BR>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dancing versus family life for the young dancer
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2001 7:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
It is so obvious that you care very much for the future of this child, I am sure that whatever you decide to do will be with her interests in mind, as well as what is best for the family as a whole.<P>I hope that you will keep us all informed. This is a decision that is faced by many families with talented children. Some of us don't know what we want to do with our lives for many years, but some of us know almost from the time we are born what is important to us - and sorting that out is the problem.<P>I give her credit for having this focus - and you for caring so much.<P>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dancing versus family life for the young dancer
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2001 9:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Rachel's Mom, you might want to also look at this other topic we had on the <A HREF=http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum11/HTML/000178.html>Bay Area Ballerina Luncheon</A>, in which some of the "ballerina" panelists talked about their experiences as students.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group